When I was in high school and college, I thought I was living a healthy lifestyle. I was a college athlete (Women’s Track & Field) and post-college, I attempted to keep myself active with sprint triathlons, half-marathons and fitness classes. Unfortunately, in 2013 I discovered I was not as healthy as I thought. I was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus, also known as lupus.
I had just turned 25 years old and my body was turning against me. (You can read more details about my story here.)
Once I was diagnosed, I did everything I was supposed to do to fight lupus. I went to the doctor, I took the proper medications and tried to listen to my body. But it wasn’t enough.
I hated taking the medications. I hated the medication side effects. I hated the “controlled”, yet continuous lupus symptoms I was living with every day. And after a year and a half I told myself there had to be something else I could do.
With Alison’s amazing research and motivation to help me, together, we switched to a plant-based diet. It took time, but each step closer to living a 100% plant-based lifestyle, the better I felt. I started going weeks, then months without a lupus flare. I found new energy. I started working out at the gym with my long-time strength trainer again. And most importantly, I started feeling like Lauren again.
Lupus is not my life, but it is the reason why I decided to join Wholesome. The Wholesome, plant-based lifestyle saved my life. And while there are many non-believers and critics out there, they are not the ones who had/have to experience the pain and emotions of lupus.
Unfortunately, everyone is going through something. It could be autoimmune diseases, infertility, diabetes, cancer, or even mental health issues. With Alison’s nutrition expertise and my personal journey, I hope we encourage others to live a more balanced, healthy, Wholesome lifestyle even if it means you don’t follow a 100% plant-based lifestyle.
Currently, I live with my amazing husband in Southeastern Wisconsin. Outside of Wholesome, I run a digital marketing business I started in 2014. While we hope one day to have a family, we wake up living the life God has blessed us with, no matter what He has in store.